Residents of Chennai and its surrounding districts who have e-passes for travelling outside of their residences will have to revalidate their passes if they choose to use it during the lockdown between June 19 and 30.
AK Viswanathan, the Commissioner of Police, Chennai City spoke to the media on Thursday, hours before Chennai and select areas in its neighbouring districts of Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur will go into a 12-day lockdown. In the press meet, Viswanathan spoke in detail about the regulations that the residents have to follow during the 12-day period.
Referring to the rule specified by the state government about not allowing residents to use their vehicles to purchase essential items, he said that sufficient notice was given before the lockdown started and hence residents could have used the time to stock up whatever special items they would need. â€śI request you to not take your two-wheelers and cars to go and buy essential items. They can buy it from the stores near their houses,â€ť he said adding that residents can walk to the nearby stores. He also urged shopkeepers selling essential items to adhere to the safety norms detailed by the government -- regularly disinfecting premises, making sanitisers available for the customers, making sure there is physical distancing inside the shop and not using air conditioning -- to make it safer for the people visiting the shop for purchase.
Another important point explained by the Commissioner was about the validity of e-passes already issued to people living in these areas. He stated that all e-passes already issued will have to be revalidated as per the revised norms for permitting travel of people from one place to another. According to the lockdown norms issued by the government of Tamil Nadu, travel from or to the areas under lockdown is permitted only for wedding, deaths and medical emergencies.
He also said that the workers whose offices are located outside the city police limits will not be permitted to commute everyday. â€śMiddle level and senior level employees who have passes issued by the Industries Department will only be permitted to travel,â€ť he added. However, employees of central and state government offices, who have been asked to work out of their offices need not possess e-passes and instead show their official identity cards and commute to and from their workplaces.
The Chennai City police has set up 288 checkpoints across the city to check and prevent unnecessary movement of people and vehicles inside the city. Arterial roads like Anna Salai and Kamarajar Salai will be closed for vehicular movement and only emergency vehicles like ambulances will be allowed to ply on these roads. The Commissioner also warned that whoever found violating the norms will be punished.